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Solid-state image sensor and image pickup apparatus

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Solid-state image sensor and image pickup apparatus


A solid-state image sensor including an effective pixel area in which a plurality of pixels are two-dimensionally arranged, each of the plurality of pixels comprising a photoelectric conversion portion configured to generate charges by photoelectric conversion, a charge holding portion configured to hold the charges generated by the photoelectric conversion portion, a floating diffusion portion configured to convert the charges from the charge holding portion into a voltage, a first transfer portion configured to transfer the charges of the photoelectric conversion portion to the charge holding portion, and a second transfer portion configured to transfer the charges of the charge holding portion to the floating diffusion portion, wherein the charge holding portion of each of the plurality of pixels is arranged on the inner side of the photoelectric conversion portion with respect to the center of the effective pixel area.
Related Terms: Photoelectric Conversion Fusion Diffusion Electric Conversion

USPTO Applicaton #: #20140002702 - Class: 348294 (USPTO) -


Inventors: Hideki Ikedo, Keiji Nagata

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20140002702, Solid-state image sensor and image pickup apparatus.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a solid-state image sensor and an image pickup apparatus.

2. Description of the Related Art

A CMOS solid-state image sensor has been widely used for an image pickup apparatus such as a digital still camera or digital video camera. In recent years, there has been proposed a configuration for implementing a global shutter function of making the accumulation times of respective pixels of a CMOS solid-state image sensor equal to each other (performing exposure for the same time).

In a configuration described in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2004-111590, for example, a charge holding portion for holding signal charges generated by the photoelectric conversion portion of each pixel is provided for each pixel. In this configuration, the photoelectric conversion portions of all the pixels simultaneously start exposure and accumulation. Upon completion of accumulation, the signal charges of the photoelectric conversion portions of all the pixels are simultaneously transferred to the corresponding charge holding portions, respectively. It is possible to obtain an image pickup signal, for which the accumulation periods of all the pixels are equal to each other, by sequentially reading out pixel signals based on the signal charges held in the charge holding portions from a common output line.

Furthermore, in a configuration described in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2006-246450, it is possible to transfer some of charges generated by a photoelectric conversion portion to a charge holding portion during part of an exposure period.

In general, a charge hold portion is covered by a light-shielding member, thereby preventing extraneous light from entering. Since, however, it is difficult to completely prevent extraneous light from entering, some light leaking from the light-shielding member may enter the charge holding portion. In this case, charges are generated within the charge holding portion due to the leakage light. These charges are noise charges different from signal charges generated by a photoelectric conversion portion during an accumulation period. These noise charges vary depending on the time during which the leakage light is incident on the charge holding portion and the intensity of the light, and appear as shading or an afterimage in an output image, thereby causing deterioration in image quality.

The configurations described in Japanese Patent Laid-Open Nos. 2004-111590 and 2006-246450, however, do not consider reducing the leakage light into the charge holding portion.

SUMMARY

OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made in consideration of the aforementioned problem, and reduces leakage of light into a charge holding portion in an image sensor including a charge holding portion for each pixel.

According to the first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a solid-state image sensor including an effective pixel area in which a plurality of pixels are two-dimensionally arranged, each of the plurality of pixels comprising a photoelectric conversion portion configured to generate charges by photoelectric conversion, a charge holding portion configured to hold the charges generated by the photoelectric conversion portion, a floating diffusion portion configured to convert the charges from the charge holding portion into a voltage, a first transfer portion configured to transfer the charges of the photoelectric conversion portion to the charge holding portion, and a second transfer portion configured to transfer the charges of the charge holding portion to the floating diffusion portion, wherein the charge holding portion of each of the plurality of pixels is arranged on the inner side of the photoelectric conversion portion with respect to the center of the effective pixel area.

According to the second aspect of the present invention, there is provided an image pickup apparatus comprising: a solid-state image sensor defined above; and a correction unit configured to correct a difference in characteristic between a plurality of areas of an effective pixel area of the solid-state image sensor, which are symmetrical to each other with respect to the center of the effective pixel area.

Further features of the present invention will become apparent from the following description of exemplary embodiments with reference to the attached drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a circuit diagram showing the schematic configuration of a solid-state image sensor according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a circuit diagram showing a unit pixel according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 3 is a schematic plan view showing the solid-state image sensor according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 4 is a schematic plan view showing two unit pixels according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 5 is a schematic sectional view showing the two unit pixels according to the first embodiment;

FIG. 6 is a schematic sectional view showing two unit pixels of a solid-state image sensor according to a Comparative Example;

FIG. 7 is a schematic plan view showing two unit pixels of a solid-state image sensor according to a modification of the first embodiment;

FIG. 8 is a schematic plan view showing a solid-state image sensor according to the second embodiment;

FIG. 9 is a schematic plan view showing four unit pixels according to the second embodiment;

FIG. 10 is a block diagram showing the overall configuration of an image pickup apparatus according to the third embodiment of the present invention;



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20140002702 A1
Publish Date
01/02/2014
Document #
13922806
File Date
06/20/2013
USPTO Class
348294
Other USPTO Classes
2502081
International Class
04N5/374
Drawings
11


Photoelectric Conversion
Fusion
Diffusion
Electric Conversion


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